Organizing and starting your own race series takes a lot of work – so be ready. The easier thing is to bring an established race to your town – see the bottom of this page for some tips on that!
Create Your Own Event
Let’s say you really, really, really want to create an event of your own – it can be challenging but incredibly rewarding! Here’s some of the things you’ll need to be willing to work through or consider:
- SAFETY – First and foremost – safety. Before you even think of a cool name, logo or start searching for a website… you need to consider the safety of every single runner, volunteer, spectator and photographer on the course. Every single person that shows up on the property at any event is your responsibility. Stuff happens, so you need to be aware and ready with a plan of action. (Brett: I’ve seen events where the EMT’s had to spend more time with injured spectators than racers. Just sayin’.)
- Venue – You need to find the perfect venue for the race. You (hopefully) will be dealing with huge crowds, and traffic flow should be a major concern – not only on the course but for the registration, packet pick-up, the start & finish line and spectator areas. (Brett – Every minute racers, volunteers or spectators spend waiting in a line their ire will build up… and they’ll let you (and millions of others) know on social media.)
- Parking – Does the venue have enough parking? If not, is there parking nearby? Having to bus people over from remote lots can cause headaches even if done well – if it’s handled poorly, folks will be miserable.
- Insurance – Obviously, this is required. Most venues won’t even consider your proposal to hold an event without at least a $1m policy for the day of race. You don’t want to be liable for an injury, do you?
- Obstacle Ideas – You do have some original (safe) ideas for obstacles, right? (Brett – Here’s a simple rule of thumb; for every foot you get people up in the air, the probability and severity of injury increases exponentially. The higher you go the injuries grow from trips & falls > sprained ankles > broken bones > far worse injuries.)
- Construction – How will you get all these made? How early can you put them in place at your venue?
- Timing – Will it be chip timed? Clock timed? Free-for-all?
- Giveaways/Swag – What will participants get? Just a t-shirt & medal? Or can you wrangle some sponsors for other stuff in their goodie bags?
- Organization – Do you have a seasoned race director and staff that can handle all the big & small details of running an event? You’d better! (Brett – Don’t be confused between a race director and an announcer – one gets all the glory while one does all the hard work pulling everything together… and sometimes, they are even the same person. Talk about multi-tasking!)
- Post-Party – It seems like every race these days has a post-party? Will you? Do you need food permits? Are you going to find a band?
- SAFETY – Yeah, we listed this twice – and for about a million good reasons. Exhilaration is a great thing for most racers, fearing for your safety is not.
- And the list goes on…
As you can see, there’s a ton that goes into it, and we’re barely scratching the surface. It will require dedication, hard work, a sizable budget, probably some tears, and some more dedication. Of course, if all goes off as planned, it will all be worth it. Putting on an event of your own WILL NOT HAPPEN on a shoestring budget, and you absolutely cannot count on “making enough on pre-registrations to buy the stuff you need” – it does not work that way and you’re setting your event up for failure (and possible litigation).
As a racer, I only get to experience the adrenaline rush of crossing the finish line only once per event. As a race director, I get to bask in the joy of competition and the endorphin highs of every single racer crossing the finish line.– Brett Stewart (Race Director & Author of Ultimate Obstacle Race Training)
Don’t Worry, There’s Help Available
If this seems like a lot, there’s always the option to still do your own, but bring on a consultant for some help. In that case, you’re in luck! Our own Brett (author of Ultimate Obstacle Race Training) Stewart is an experienced race director and has consulted on events in all aspects including theme creation, event name, location scouting, logo & website set-up, creating new & interesting obstacles & challenges, course set-up & testing, and race-day event direction… all the way down to ordering port-o-john’s! TRI PHX Adventure Run, Lozilu, Escape the Chase, Alpha Warrior, VictoryQuest, and TriSport Media’s Road Races & Triathlon Series are just some of our examples.
Packages are available for consultation starting at $125/hr to help you brainstorm or plan any aspect of your event all the way up to a turn-key solution where our crew rolls up to your location, sets up the entire race course and manages the event on race day!
Note: The 2014 race season calendar is already filling up for events across the United States. To get started with a free initial consultation, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Invite an Event to Visit Your City
Now, if that still sounds like too much, but still really want an event in your city – you might want to take the easy route – which is to work with one of the big boys! Spartan Race, Warrior Dash, , Savage Race, Superhero Dash, Run For Your Lives, etc. are all expanding and growing in a big way. If they are not in your town right now – they might be ready to be there next year! There’s a lot that goes into selection of a new city, but customer demand is a big factor! Bug the heck out of them… on their Facebook page, Twitter feed… Even better, get 100 or 1000 people to join your petition. How? Make a Facebook page “Bring Superhero Scramble to Flagstaff, AZ” page. Of course, enter your own city – unless you’re from Flagstaff, of course.